In this round of our #MakingHERStory series, we bring you Associate Director of Business Development, Pui San Yong, better known as Jodie, to share us her story in exploring women empowerment and her role at Funding Societies | Modalku (FSMK).
Influence and inspiration
Tell us about a leadership lesson that you’ve learnt that’s unique to being a female leader?
As a result-oriented leader, I have a tendency to focus more on my team members instead of myself. I am fully committed to making them grow by maximising their potential, efficiency and thereby becoming successful in their roles. I’ve since learned that being a female leader has also contributed to my leadership accountability. It is my mission to build high performing teams, as they put their trust in me when they choose me to be their leader.
I provide guidance and support when they need it, to achieve greater results. I feel accountable for their performance and to make them rise up to their own and the management’s expectations.
As a female leader I’m able to provide different perspectives, more inclusive feedback and innovative ideas that could lead to better decision-making for the entire organisation.
Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.
Yes. I was inspired by my sixth aunt, who was an amazing leader herself and Tan Sri Datin Paduka, Dr. Ungku Zeti Akhtar Binti Ungku Abdul Aziz who was the first woman to hold the position of seventh Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s central bank. Both inspired me to join the banking industry but mostly to dare to aim higher and break the glass ceiling in the male dominant professions.
What energises you about work?
Everything about work energises me. I simply enjoy working with my team members and gaining new knowledge about upcoming challenges. That gives me great job satisfaction and a room for incredible personal growth.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Always believe in yourself and don’t restrict yourself within the cultural, gender or social stereotypes. Just follow your heart and aim for what you want. Once you have set your mind on it; everything is possible as long as you put in the effort and hard work.
How has FSMK empowered you to #breakthebias and be the leader you are today?
I am empowered to be my own self and I am encouraged to voice out my point of view as an individual. In FSMK, open discussions are the norm, so much so, that we can have differing views with our superiors and still share them without any hesitation. I believe this freedom of expression has also helped me to build up the confidence in public speaking.
How should women support other women in their organisations?
Be proactive in offering the support that they need, such as providing useful advice/ emotional support if needed and encourage them to speak up if there’s any gender based stereotypes that they are facing.
What has been the biggest takeaway for you from FSMK’s #makingHERstory – Women in Leadership program?
I’m very grateful to FSMK for enrolling me in this program as I’ve learnt a lot through it. The biggest takeaways for me are: First, to be more confident, especially in owning and taking credit for my own achievements. Second, to be assertive in what I want, that way I could be a role model to the rest of the female colleagues in my organization who are hesitant to open up about their aspirations. I’m now more aware of the imposter syndrome and consciously making efforts to overcome it, as I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I didn’t have the right capabilities. And finally, I should never doubt my own capabilities no matter how challenging things seem to be.
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